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Meanwhile, Back on the Field . . .

Rich Davis on October 25, 2020

Quarantine in Moldova

Quarantine Blessings

There are several differing opinions on the issue of quarantine, but Jo Ann and I found it to be a huge blessing as we arrived back in Moldova. We were required to remain in our apartment for 14 days without leaving for any reason. First, we were absolutely spoiled rotten by our Moldovan partners, Mihai and Irina. Our pantries and refrigerator were filled with food when we arrived and when we needed something, all we had to do was call Mihai and the purchases were made and delivered to our door! We were almost ready to pray that the quarantine might last several weeks longer!

Second, we had two weeks to spend studying non-stop getting ready for the increased teaching load that was to begin on September 14. What a blessing that was to have uninterrupted time studying while getting over jet lag. Thank You Father for allowing us to partner with such fantastic believers and ministry partners and for the enforced quarantine. Yes, it was enforced. We actually received a phone call from a Moldovan government official making sure that we were home and obeying the law!

IMG_4179 Jo Ann, Rich, and Mihai Malancea (VP at UDG). We are celebrating with Mihai the publication of his first book! By the way, Mihai just recovered from a more serious bout with Covid 19 but is back at the university carrying his normal schedule now.

Ministry Blessings

After we had been evacuated to the states in March, we began to ask the Lord for increased ministry opportunities. We spoke to many of our ABWE administrators and field leaders from all over the world to consider if we might be able to give more of our time, energy, and resources to fulfilling the Great Commission. As we mentioned in our August update, we received a letter from Mihai Malancea of the Christian university (UDG) in Moldova asking us to increase our teaching load considerably. This was the Lord's answer to our prayers and we are still trying to catch our breath with the new schedule.

Jo Ann is now the English teacher at UDG and is teaching 2 Romanian speaking classes and 1 Russian speaking class. The challenge is that each class has students whose abilities in English range from zero to fairly good in conversation. Since Romanian and English have a Latin base, it is easier to teach those students. However, teaching the Russian speaking students is quite a challenge since Russian is a Slavic language and we have no background in those languages. Students are beginning to ask for tutoring which will give Jo Ann an chance to develop relationships with the students and mentor them. Learning English is a wonderful tool for the students as so many ministry materials, textbooks, and audio/video helps are available in that language.

This semester Rich is teaching several courses which were mentioned in our last letter. One of the most interesting opportunities is teaching students from Central Asia who will return to their passport countries to apply what they have learned in places inaccessable to us. Please continue to pray for our training ministries with these bright young students preparing to serve the Lord with their lives.

Finally together again First day of their family reunion. Yes, Elisa is in the carriage!

Blessings in Trials

Has any person living today been completely unaffected by some aspect of Covid-19? While relatively few have been infected with the virus and fewer still have died from it, even the healthy have been affected due to the restrictions imposed by most national governments. Specifically, how has the pandemic affected life in Moldova? To answer that question, we would like to share a brief glimpse into the lives of our dear friends and partners, Mihai, Irina, and Delia.

The family was there at the airport in March as we scurried out of Moldova before flights in and out of the country were restricted. Irina was in the early days of her second pregnancy and the uncertainty of the coming weeks and months was weighing on all of us.

During the following months, Irina was able to schedule check-ups as the precious child grew inside of her. However, the doctors were certain that something was wrong. The first reports were that the child would be a Down’s baby and the doctors insisted that Irina should abort immediately. We can only imagine the fear in the hearts of this young couple as they resisted the doctors demands. Sadly, the doctors continued their campaign to convince Irina that she must abort and grew increasingly dogmatic, rude, and disrespectful to her. She had to bear this alone as Mihai could not accompany her to the doctor visits due to the Covid restrictions. Near the end of her pregnancy, the doctors were now reporting that the child had a defective heart and might need heart surgery immediately following birth. Once again fear was being poured on this young mother and more pressure was being applied to abort.

At this point, Jo Ann and I were back in Moldova and anticipating the birth of this precious little baby. A wonderful Christian doctor comforted Mihai and Irina with the fact that the tests that had been taken could have been mistaken or interpreted incorrectly, and there was a good chance that the child would be born without difficulties.

Then, just days before Irina was to enter the hospital to deliver the baby, Mihai was not feeling well and tested positive for Covid 19. He had to be quarantined in their apartment with their three-year-old daughter, Delia. The church rallied around them and did all we could to keep them supplied with food and medicine as Irina had to move to her father’s apartment and then finally to the hospital.

Elisa showing off her beauty! Elisa happy and safe in her mother's hands showing off her beauty!

Elisa was born on October 11th and all the doctors with one exception said that everything seemed normal although there was concern that the hole that babies normally have in their hearts was larger than most children have at birth. Another test is scheduled shortly to monitor Elisa’s heart and general health. However, Irina could not return home with Elisa so that the family of four could now welcome their new addition. She had to stay at her father’s home with the baby until Mihai and Delia completed their Covid quarantine. Delia had no symptoms and Mihai is young and healthy. He recovered quickly having suffered a mild case of Covid.

Mihai, Irina, Delia, and Elisa are now together in their small apartment and rejoicing in the Lord’s goodness. Yes, we are all waiting to hear the results of the next test to see how the heart is healing along with any other possible complications. Please pray with us that Elisa would indeed be healing well and grow to be a beautiful strong and healthy child.

Mihai was able to preach for the first time on October 25th since the challenges mentioned above began. The Imago Dei Baptist Church was celebrating our second anniversary as a formally organized church and we are all rejoicing. Thank you for praying for all of us even though you may not have known some of the challenges we were facing – especially Mihai and Irina. Please do continue to pray for all of us as we serve the Lord at UDG and the new church plant.

Beautiful apparence We are all so happy for the arrival of this beautiful child. Welcome Elisa!